Mary Jane “MJ” Warfield is an arts management professional, based in Alice Springs.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Drama and Literature from Deakin University. Her career in arts management began in 2006 as Cultural Development Officer at Yarra Ranges Council. Whilst employed with local government, MJ was responsible for programs across all art forms and in many contexts, from schools partnerships and film festivals to receiving professional touring companies at Upper Yarra Arts Centre and across the region. This is where she honed her skills in community engagement, programming and marketing the arts in regional towns.
MJ went on to work as a freelance creative producer and festival director in the Upper Yarra region in Victoria, producing Summer School of the Arts for Yarra Valley Arts, large scale community dance works and celebrations, an education program with Yering Station Sculpture exhibition and directed Warburton Harmony Festival in 2012. She was also brought on as a consultant by Yarra Ranges Council for the venue operations of their newly refurbished Healesville Memo Hall.
A road trip in 2013 saw MJ take a detour to Alice Springs to take on the role of Production Manager for Alice Desert Festival. Alice Springs very quickly became home and MJ spent the following two years as Manager of Alice Desert Festival with Red Hot Arts.
Other freelance roles in Alice Springs have included contracts with Alice Springs Town Council, Something Somewhere Film Festival, Wide Open Space Festival, Totem Theatre and in 2016 she was creative producer for Incite Art’s Unbroken Land.
Since November 2015 MJ has been the Regional Arts Fund manager with Regional Arts Australia. The Regional Arts Fund is a $14 million (over four years) national funding program that aims to support sustainable cultural development and raise the profile of artists across regional Australia. The role involves management of national networks of arts organisations who manage the fund in their jurisdictions, as well as reporting to the Federal Government about the entire program of activity generated by the fund, across the nation. MJ loves the role and enjoys being in a national, strategic position and the networks and opportunities this brings.
MJ is passionate about Community Cultural Development and contemporary regional Australian arts practice. She is interested in developing her leadership and governance skills.